Archive for category Benefit
I often find that my best posts are those that are made up on a whim. Sometimes I’ll be trying something out for my own personal pleasure, and it leads to something else entirely. Today I had one such moment; I was trying to figure out just how I could wear my NARS Laguna Multiple effectively, as its quite pretty but gets very little use. I usually smear it on right from the tube and then blend the heck out of it with my fingers, applying it as a highlight on top of my cheekbones and around my brow bones. Today I tried buffing it in with a stippling brush, which seemed to work exceptionally well. Then I wondered how it looked in sunlight, and stepped out on my balcony in the sunshine, only to be blasted with some serious sparkle! Eeks! I can tell you right now that it is NOT the kind of product you want to wear outside in the sun (so, best used on cloudy days or at night), or at least if you DO wear it, use a very light hand. Lesson learned (and thankfully before I made the faux pas in public)!
Of course, this got me thinking about other highlighters/glow-makers I own and how they fare in the bright sunshine. Of course, being a dutiful blogger, I took photos so we all can benefit from my experiment :) I chose four others that are all permanent products in their respective brands: Benefit Watt’s Up, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, and Burberry Fresh Glow. You’ve seen swatches of some of these before in my Chanel Poudre Signée post, but here they are again (give or take a couple):
First let me preface the following face swatches by saying that while I could plainly see the sparkle/shimmer in sunlight, it is incredibly hard to capture in photos!! SO frustrating. With that in mind, please take my word for it whether or not something is visible or not, as it is tricky to see in the snaps I took ~grumbles~ Also, please note that all of these shots were taken on completely makeup-free skin (apologies for dark circles!), so there is no other potential shimmer interference (I cleansed my face thoroughly between each shot).
To begin, we have the Laguna Multiple I mentioned originally. Very sparkly in sunlight, and I really would avoid wearing it outside – especially if you do not have my skintone (on me it’s more of a highlight), as it would then be deep bronze + super shimmer, and just wouldn’t be your best moment. You’ll notice as you look through the other face pics that this one has the most noticeable shimmer, even in photographs. BELIEVE IT. However, it IS very pretty and I plan on using it on evenings out over this spring/summer.
Next, we have Benefit’s Watt’s Up luminizer – I only have a sample size of this but honestly that is enough, as a little goes a long way. I want to say it’s my least favorite of the five, but today changed my mind a bit, as the initial BAM! sparkle of it seemed to settle after a couple minutes, and then it really just gave me this lovely radiance. It’s still fairly shimmery, but not as much as the Laguna, and you could probably get away with it in the day if you went very minimal on shimmer elsewhere. Also, I’d probably layer my blush OVER this rather than under (which you’d likely do anyway if you chose powder, as this is a cream, and that’d just get weird), which would tone it down a little bit too. It took me AGES to get photos of this and I’m still not satisfied, so trust me when I say there IS visible shimmer (look for little particle-like things on my face – those are them :P).
Moving right along, next is the insanely popular Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, in the shade Opal. I snagged this deluxe sample in a swap about a month ago and I LOVE IT SO MUCH YOU GUYS. I’m not going to go on a big ‘You have to buy this!’ rant, because everyone else has done such a good job – so just go buy it already! This product comes very close to the ‘might be too shimmery for day’ line but manages to toe it exceptionally well, so you can totally rock it out all summer long. I adore the glow this gives and because the shimmer particles are so small, they don’t look tacky at all, just nicely done. I will continue to wear this now that the sun is out, day or night.
Continuing on, we come to the Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer. Next to Laguna this one is the most shimmery, and is also the only powder in the bunch. This was one of my first highlighters (and again, its a small sample size compared to the real deal) and I tended to wear it more in the corners of my eyes than anywhere else. Now, I wear it both ways (on my cheekbones too) but generally keep it to nighttime, as the shimmer combined with the lighter tone and powder formula can make it more obvious than I’d like. Still, the powder is butter-smooth and is nice to have on hand now and again!
Finally, we have the most natural of the bunch, and my personal preference for a foolproof glow – Burberry’s Fresh Glow Luminizing Base. If you recall, I bought this last year as a birthday treat for myself (which I think I might do every year – buy Burberry makeup, I mean!) and was unsure if it was genius or useless. Well, consider me converted because this give the most subtle yet glowing look of the bunch. It can be worn a multitude of ways: on bare skin, under foundation, over foundation, mixed in with foundation, etc. – but I prefer to use either on a bare face to just give me a pick me up if I’m going super low-key, or on top of foundation on the high points of the face. Even though there is shimmer, somehow there is no shimmer - like Houdini or something. I haven’t quite figured it out, but I will say that looking at it worn in full sunshine today for the first time, I was totally amazed – I looked utterly radiant but like I had absolutely nothing on. Kind of like how you look when you put on a face oil, and you look glowing, but without the adding ‘shine’ factor. Good times. Dammit Burberry, why is everything you do SO DAMN
Thus concludes my research – I hope you found it helpful! I know it’s tough to see the nuances between shots but I think the gist is there in terms of comparing the five. As always, this kind of post is helpful for me too, so yay for killing two birds with one stone!
Do you wear a highlighter? What formula/finish do you prefer? Which of these ones would you choose?
We’re back with the Winter Edition of the Beauty Envy Bag! We’ve handpicked several of our beauty
favorites that will help you make it through this winter season with some new goodies. The bag consists
of all full-sized products to help meet your beauty needs. For those of you who may be new to our blogs,
here’s a quick introduction.
Lakeisha is a nail polish blogger from Florida. She is obsessed with polish, fashion, and merging the two together. She is the blogger behind Refined and Polished.
Latoya is a beauty blogger from the East Coast of Canada. While she loves all things girly, she’s also a closet gamer and is a die-hard Walking Dead fan. She is the blogger behind Beauty Obsessed.
Leticia is a beauty blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She is a dog lover, sci fi nerd, handbag collector, and makeup junkie. She is the blogger behind Cosmetics Aficionado.
Lola is a Midwest blogger with a passion for polish, science, and music. She is the blogger behind Burb Beauty.
The Winter Edition of the Beauty Envy Bag contains:
- L’Occitane Hand Indulgence Hand Cream Set (Reviewed by Lola)
- Benefit’s High Flyin’ Glosses Collection (Reviewed by Latoya)
- Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette (Reviewed by Leticia)
- Butter LONDON Two Fingered Salute & Scallywag (Reviewed by Lakeisha)
Please feel free to click the links above to learn more about each product. Accompanying all of the items
is a purple metallic beauty bag from Sephora and additional samples will be included as well.
Here is what you need to know to enter in the Rafflecopter widget below:
- Must leave a blog comment (just one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know your
favorite winter beauty product.
- Additional entries for following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter,
- Open internationally
- Must be 18+
- Giveaway closes on Monday, January 28, 2012 at 11:59 EST
Good luck dolls!!!
I spent two hours – TWO HOURS! – last night, researching what products and shades I should to order from Becca Cosmetics (a brand I’ve yet to try and desperately want to). My (totally logical – I swear!) reason for doing this? To avoid purchasing any shades that were similar to ones I already own. I DID come up with a (very) pared down list, you’ll be happy to hear; if you’re interested (and FYI – the blog Shades of BECCA is a good resource for some swatches):
Papaya Beach Tint $30CAD (hot red)
Fallen Angel Ultimate Color Gloss $29CAD (nude spice)
There were a handful of other products I liked the look of, but in checking out swatches, they seemed to be too close to items I already own (though, c’mon, the brand is gorgeous and I could have easily gone for one of everything!). Which brings me to the point.
You’re all familiar with my organizational obsession right? (and…if you’re new and not aware: Hello! My name is Latoya and YES, I have a problem which manifests itself into a bit of compulsive organization. Could be worse!) Anyway, another problem I have is lack of funds; when you own a home on your own and don’t make the big bucks, things can get tricky. However, I have ANOTHER problem (jeez, someone institutionalize me, will ya?), which is that I love shopping – for cosmetics in particular. Smash the three of these together and what do you get? Well…you get THIS:
What ‘THIS’ is, is me taking a good look at an area of my makeup collection – specifically blush/bronzers in this instance – and seeing where I have gaps. By gaps, I mean: what shades do I lack that I can justify buying, in order to round out my stash and also quell the burning desire to shop my face off. Ya dig? This fantabulous idea kills
three birds three mosquitoes (no one cares about those) with one big-ass swat. I get to organize something*, figure out what shades or products I’m missing, and rationally and systematically purchase new items that are on my wishlist and fit the ‘missing’ bill. BOOM!
*Seriously guys, I joke but….I really like organizing things. So much so, that near the end of the month I’m signing up for a Professional Organizers intro course to see if I’d like to become a professional organizer for realz. It’s THAT serious :S
So, as you can see, I’m starting with blush – because clearly blush is THE BEST EVER and deserves the number one spot for allowing EVEN MORE BLUSH. Because clearly 20 (+ 7 bronzer-type things and 2 mini-blush) are NOT ENOUGH.
(I swear I’m not on the sauce tonight guys – I just feel a little peppy ’cause I’m back into running and signed up for the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon in May…wooo! )
Even with 20+ blush, I can plainly see what shades I’m lacking: A bright red! (NARS Turkish Red is more of a burgundy) A true orange! (NARS Taj Mahal is kind of a burnt orange and quite shimmery) A neutral pink! (…I literally do not own one beige-y pink blush, for shame) A nice deep berry would be lovely! And also – varying formulations! I have NO cheek tints, and only four cream blush. You see, there actually ARE shades/formulas I do not have despite having far more blush than is probably necessary. And then, there are shades I need NO more of, like medium pinks…I have enough of those, yep. I don’t think I need any more bronzers, especially since I rarely wear them and I’m already kinda *ahem* bronze. I only really have a couple coral shades, which tends to be the one a lot of people go gaga for (myself included), but I’ll hold off till the warmer months on thinking about those right now. Same goes for apricot-hued shades.
Left to right (flash): NARS Desire, Illamasqua Unrequited (discontinued shade*), theBalm Down Boy, Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel, Benefit Bella Bamba, Illamasqua Hussy, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, NARS Torrid, theBalm Hot Mama
Left to right (flash): NARS Laguna Illuminator, Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder, NARS Laguna Multiple, MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach, Clinique Bronze Uplighting, Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands
What I’m wondering is, what gaps do YOU see? Since I only have my stash to compare it to, I can’t get a good idea of what I’m missing. What shades can you suggest that I should focus on buying?
I’m planning on doing this little experiment with all my makeup over the next little while, so be prepared: more lame examples of my organizational obsession coming your way! But do come back anyway, because I need your help
Is your makeup collection where you want it to be, or do you have a few gaps you’d like to fill?
So it’s been a week since I’ve been returned from my New Zealand adventure, and I’m slowly (verrrrrry slowly) getting back into the swing of things. It’s quite an adjustment to go from an action-packed-always-on-the-go-surrounded-by-people-partying-every-night atmosphere, to being…back to work, home alone, same-old same-old. I’m not knocking my life by any means – I’ve got a warm, cozy condo; a good (though perhaps boring) job; and great friends – but it’s still quite a change to get re-established into. And I’m someone who really likes to have things to look forward to (which is why I’m planning my next adventure!).
ANYWAY. Enough whining, and on with the show, right? Right. Tonight, I opted get a bunch of ‘To Do’s’ done and make bread (because what’s more comforting than baking bread!?), but I want to show you what you can expect to see on the blog in the next week or two. I happily came home to a few surprise packages that had been sent my way, so despite the fact that I haven’t been buying much in the way of exciting cosmetics in the past couple months (though…I did pick up an eyeshadow this weekend ~guilty face~), I do have several holiday sets – four to be exact – to fill you in on!
Illamasqua Lip Twin Set*
Hourglass Best of Hourglass Collection*
Make Up For Ever All Eyes On You Set*
(Clockwise from left): HD High Definition Powder, Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Color in #16 (Pink Beige), Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara, Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils in 21L (dark grey) and 0L (mat black)
Benefit High Flyin’ Glosses Lip Gloss Set
I think that’s a pretty good start to the holidays, don’t you? I will tell you now, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum – it makes my skin look amazing on it’s own, improves it’s texture, doesn’t cause ANY breakouts or irritation (even on my normal-to-oily skin), and my makeup wears better and smoother with it on (though I will say, it doesn’t make it last all day long). I’m definitely buying a full-size when money isn’t so tight!
So – keep your eyes peeled! I spent the morning Sunday taking photos of everything, though I have to redo my lipgloss swatches as I had a bit of unnoticed flaking going on – yikes! I don’t want to scare you away just when I’ve gotten back! :) Also…..one (or even two!) of these sets just *might* be part of a giveaway coming soon to a blog near you – just sayin’.
What’s on everyone’s wish list for the holiday season, cosmetics-wise? Anything you’ve already picked up and are loving?
*Products marked with an * were provided to me for consideration of review by the PR company/brand.
Since it’s a well-known fact that blush addiction is 1) contagious, and 2) that it spreads quickly, I thought I’d leave you with a little *something* while I’m away this week – my gift to you :P It’s truly scary how quickly one can go from owning a handful of blush to moving into double-digits in an alarmingly quick fashion. At the beginning of the year, I think I had 8 (plus a handful of highlighters and bronzers, so around 14 total), and in three short months I have pretty much doubled that number – yikes!! I was so easy to judge when it was someone else, but I see how quickly things can go downhill. It’s a
fun ride slippery slope, but gosh are there ever some beautiful shades out there! It’s so easy to fall prey to their powers.
The first installment in what will be a week-long series, are my pink and peach/coral shades. It blows me away how some of these looks so similar in the pan, yet look nothing alike when swatched/worn. I played around with the groupings a bit, but am fairly satisfied in how I divided them in the end. Let’s begin with the pink blushes:
MAC’s Madly Magenta, a matte cream, is really too violet for this grouping, but it’s the only one of it’s kind in my stash, so it’s joining the team. I bought it well over a year ago, but the other three were bought or acquired over the past four months. Benefit Bella Bamba is a shimmering ‘watermelon pink’; Chanel’s Blush de Horizon is a shimmering cool-ish pink, and theBalm’s Down Boy is a matte baby pink.
Over the past few months, I’m coming to realize that what looks like one thing in the pan might be something else entirely when worn. I thought for sure that Down Boy would look chalky on me, but it doesn’t at all – it’s just a lovely subtle pink flush. I was surprized and slightly disappointed to see how close Bella Bamba and Blush de Horizon was, though Bella Bamba does have more pink pigmentation. I’m still working on MAC’s Madly Magenta…maybe when I’m more tanned I’ll figure it out.
Next up, we have my peach/coral shades – my favorite color of blush. I find myself always looking at these when I’m shopping, but so far I’ve been able to stop myself from buying more, until I can confidently say it’s a color I do not own.
I know that Illamaqua’s Tweak (described as a deep hot pink) looks far too pinky to be here, but it’s too warm to be included with the ‘pinks’ group, and again it was one of a kind, so here it is. It actually wasn’t so far off from NARS Torrid, a ‘warm coral’ with shimmer, so it seemed to fit. MUFE’s First Kiss HD Blush is a bright apricot (which is the only recent *purchase* out of this group), and theBalm’s Hot Mama is a pinky-peach with shimmer.
It still blows me away every time how light Hot Mama is, when it looks so similar in the pan to Torrid. Also, comparing Torrid in the pan to Benefit’s Bella Bamba, they look so close, and yet Torrid swatched/worn is SO much deeper than it looks – it’s shocking. I was also surprized at how much more orange-leaning MUFE’s #12 First Kiss looks when compared to other shades – when I bought it I thought I might have repeated something else in my stash. I’m please to know that I didn’t
As a bonus shot, here’s what Illamasqua Tweak looks like when worn (on me):
In these shots, it looks like it should be with the pink family, doesn’t it?
So, there you have it – Part I of my ever-expanding blush collection! I hope you enjoyed it – stay tuned tomorrow for Part II!!
Do you own any of these shades? Were any swatches surprizing to you too? What is your favorite blush shade?
Well another year has passed, and that means another Lent and a challenge to embark on. Six weeks ago, I revealed my plan to you for this year’s Lent, which was MUCH tamer than last year (giving up buying cosmetics cold turkey – gah! What was I thinking!?):
1) Write a blog post every single day, with the exception of Sundays
2) Wear every single makeup item in my stash at least once
3) Post regular FOTD pictures with the evidence
It was a pretty easy year, I have to say, which is why you didn’t get many updates from me as the weeks passed. I started strong with the FOTD pics (though failed at making them look good!), but as time wore on I found myself still mostly wearing the same old looks and products I always do. It was an unsuccessful Lent in that respect, but not entirely a waste – I did learn a few lessons!First, I came to some conclusions about blogging and how I plan to proceed with writing posts. While I almost always have a plethora of things I’d like to write about, near the end of the 6 weeks I found that I was feeling less enthused about blogging – working on a computer all day to come home to work for another few hours, every single day, started to get to me. Could have been year-end as well, but in order for me to maintain my blogging integrity and the quality of posts I want to produce, I think every second day or so is more reasonable for where I’m at right now. I really want to engage with more people, either our in the community making myself present, or through my own posts, and I’m barely finding the time to write a post, take good quality (as I’m able) photos, respond to comments, read others blogs and comment….it’s a lot of time and as I’m no night-owl…it gets pretty strained. So while I tried and mostly succeeded to write every day, it’s just not feasible for me if I want to still enjoy blogging as much as I do. I hope you all understand!
Second, and much more entertaining, I did experiment with makeup more than normal, working with shades that I had deemed unwearable and pairing them with different products to ‘figure them out.’ With the exception of a handful of shades, I’m pleased to say I did wear everything in my stash at least once. I had some particular successes:
- Wore MUFE Aqua Liner #5 (an aqua), a bold shade I was hesitant to wear, on the top lash line with minimal other makeup, and actually ADORED how it looked – and how wearable it turned out to be! A perfect look for Summer!
- Paired MAC’s Shimmermoss, another aqua shade, with MAC’s Petrol Blue liner (smudged at the lash line) to create a deeper, more intense teal shade which looked much better on my darker skin tone.
- Wore UD’s Kush (kelly green) from the BoSIII palette on Saint Paddy’s Day, along with Lise Watier’s Folie de Pomme loose shadow (golden green), and it looks absolutely amazing!
As to be expected, I also had some failures:
- I struggled to find ways to wear MAC’s Madly Magenta Cream Color Base, a deeply saturated violet pink (tried it on lips as well as cheeks, and I’m not too sure…*see below*).
- Several shades from the UD BoSIII palette continued to be completely unworn: Perversion (matte black), Uzi (glittering white), Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (glittering champagne), and Money (pale aqua-blue with a touch of glitter)…can you see a trend here? The shades with glitter (hello, fall-out!) are just so tough to pull off!
- Still haven’t taken the time to figure out NARS Habanera…I feel like the lack of effort I’m putting into it might be indicative of it’s fate.
Overall, while there were some shades I discovered new uses for, or learned how to wear them properly, there were also shades that just aren’t going to and won’t work for me. A lot of the more cool-toned, blue-based shades I own I think will have to go – I just don’t feel comfortable wearing them. The UD palette also is a bit of a thorn in my side, because while half the shades I love, the other half are essentially useless to me. It’s a bit frustrating! However, there are still some items that are a work in progress, and I’m going to continue to investigate whether or not I should hang on to them, such as Tarte’s Blushing Bride Cheek Stain (I think I’m too dark to make this work, as it’s quite sheer); Smashbox On Trend Cream Eye Liner, a deep khaki (I’m bringing it to Jamaica to try smudging it out a ton, as that feels like the just right look for the trip); and Clinique’s Salt & Pepper Lid Smoothie (a shimmering silver-grey that would be a great base for certain looks).
Lastly, I did improve my photography skills a bit when it comes to taking FOTD’s, though I still have a LONG way to go!! Here are a couple looks I shot over the last few weeks:
So. While Lent this year wasn’t much of a big hoopla as it has always been for me in years past, nonetheless I still took something away from the experience, and it wasn’t for naught! I plan to continue to go through my stash regularly to weed out products that just aren’t right for me and could use a better home, and I’m definitely going to keep trying to experiment – with both products and photos. Blogging as a whole is a constant learning experience for me, and one that I relish and take great pleasure in. There will never be a shortage of things to discover and write about!
Oh, one last thing before I go – here was my Easter mani for the week:
(Tee hee!!) Happy Easter/Long Weekend everyone!!
Happy Hump Day everyone!! Heyyy, February is pretty much over – doesn’t that make you feel like Spring is REALLY on it’s way? Even though it doesn’t officially start for another three weeks or so, I always feel like March marks the end of Winter and the beginning of good (re: warm) things
For the past week, since Lent began, I have been steadfastly putting in an effort to take FOTD shots of my makeup looks every day, but unfortunately for all of us – I have been failing spectacularly. I just can’t seem to get it right, and it’s frustrating me to no end. However, fortunately for everyone, I don’t give up easy, and I am going to keep on trying until I am successful! Embarrassingly, here are some of the shots I’ve taken over the past week:
MUFE Aqua Liner #14 with the purple shade of NARS Habarnera in the crease and along the lower lash line. I swear in person the shadow was actually noticeable, more than just the hint of shimmer showing here!
I snuck this photo at work while in fear of someone finding me taking pictures of myself lol – I’m wearing Urban Decay’s Bordello eyeshadow (from the BoSIII palette), with UD’s Smog in the crease, theBalm Down Boy blush, and MUFE Lab Shine S4 again.
Tonight, I managed to get a couple shots I was fairly happy with, though I still wish I could get close-ups of eye makeup so that you can see what I’ve done. But – beggers can’t be chosers, I guess! Below, I’m not wearing too much – just a touch of the pale shade of Hourglass’ Exhibition shadow duo on the lid, UD’s Crash liner, Benefit’s Bella Bamba on cheeks, and the star of the look – Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque in Empire.My goal with all of these FOTD shots are to showcase the products that I haven’t been giving enough love to, and figuring out how to make them work on a regular basis. Chanel’s Empire perplexed me from the start – it was such a gorgeous shade, but I just didn’t see it working on my skintone. However, now that I’m easing into wearing pretty Spring hues, I find this lippie works PERFECTLY. It’s just not a Fall/Winter shade on me, AT ALL. Now that I’ve figured that out, I’m gonna have some serious fun with this color!! It’s absolutely perfect for pretty much any Spring look I’ll be wearing.
What makes me
cringe chuckle when I go back through these pictures, is that my makeup looks almost identical in each – this is one of the frustrating parts, because each look was different, honest! ~sigh~ Anyway, as I said, I’m going to continue to press on, and *one day* I’ll get it. At the very least, I’m having a great time wearing different products every day and giving all the neglected items I own a little attention. Talk about shopping your own stash!
Have you rediscovered a product that you weren’t sure about, only to find that you’ve changed your mind and have now fallen in love?
It’s interesting how you develop ‘cliques’ even in the online world. From my experience so far, they’re much more open and welcoming than the same cliques you might find in the ‘real world,’ but they’re there, just the same. In the group I seem to be running with, blush is the current obsession of choice (which, it seems to me, started with blush fiend numero uno, Tracy :)). The love of blush seems to be spreading like wildfire over the past few months, and it doesn’t take long before you’re swept up in the mania, too. A year ago, blush was probably the last makeup item I desired – while I absolutely must wear it, as I have no natural flush to speak of, it just never interested me that much. Flash-forward to current day, and I suddenly am having to hold myself back from buying every brand of blush I come across. It’s madness I tell you, madness!
As I intensely dislike having dupes in my stash, but very much like shopping for makeup, I went through my blush collection to see what shades I should/could pick up ~if I so desired~. I noticed that I seemed to have a number of pinky-peach shades, and of course my blogger-brain started working and I thought I’d do a little comparison of them. The shades (and their official descriptions) are: NARS Torrid – a warm coral with golden shimmer; theBalm Hot Mama* – a pinky peach; and Benefit Bella Bamba – a watermelon pink with shimmering golden undertones. Mainly I was interested to see how Hot Mama and Bella Bamba compared to Torrid, the mother of all pinky-peach shades. Naturally, I had to swatch each of them to see just how similar they were.
I’m going to forgo much chatter here because this is about to get ridiculously picture heavy (I was bored a couple weeks ago and this is what happened). I’ll discuss the nuances of each shade in between briefly:
NARS Torrid vs theBalm Hot Mama
In all lighting, Torrid and Hot Mama look quite similar but not identical. However, the difference in the two shades is much more prominent once swatched:
The sunlight photo is a bit blurry, but I wanted to capture not only the shade difference but the shimmer capacity of each – Torrid has much more prominent shimmer particles, while Hot Mama is more of a shimmer product overall (I would probably use this as a highlight in the summer due to my darker skintone).
I couldn’t get over how different the two were – two totally, completely different shades! It taught me a lesson though – always swatch before you buy. Sometimes I’ve passed things up thinking they wouldn’t work for my skintone, other times I’ve bought items thinking they’d show up and they turn out to be rubbish (for me). Good to know.
Next, we have Torrid vs Bella Bamba. I didn’t expect them to be too close because Bella Bamba is a fair bit pinker, but in the same family with the golden shimmer:
Benefit Bella Bamba vs NARS Torrid
The difference between Bella Bamba and Torrid was the most apparent in sunlight; in the other two shots, it was a bit trickier to spot. Even so, I still felt like when these were applied, they’d look similar when blended out, because they appeared to be close in pigmentation even if the shades weren’t identical:
Errr! Wrong again. Bella Bamba is so obviously lighter and vastly more pink than Torrid, I almost felt silly bothering to compare them at all. They’re shimmery – that’s where the similarities end. And again, Torrid contains shimmer particles in a matte base, whereas Bella Bamba is shimmery as a whole. So…nope, no dupes there.
Regardless of the fact that I seem to be color-blind, I’m still happy I did the comparison, as it justified my ownership of each shade, and actually made me better aware of what look each imparts. It also highlighted the fact of just how crazy-pigmented NARS blushes are; during the summer months, while Bella Bamba and Hot Mama will be stashed in the back of my drawer (there’s no way they’ll be showing up on my tanned skin), Torrid remains a prominent player in my blush rotation. That’s not to say it’s better, just that it is a great addition and value in my collection as I can wear it year-round.
Do you own any of these blushes? Do you ever buy replicas of shades, or do you try to get colors that you don’t already own?
*Thanks to Liz of Beauty Reductionista for generously giving me the Balmbini Palette: Babies of the Balm, which contains the Hot Mama shade – you rock!!
Posted by Latoya in Alterna, Anti-Aging, Aveda, Aveeno, Base Coats, Benefit, Body Care, Cleanser, Clinique, Cover Girl, Dior, Eucerin, Eye Liner, Eyeshadow, Giorgio Armani, Hair, Hand Care, Joico, Lancome, Lips, Make-up, Mascara, Moisturizers, Neutrogena, Paul Mitchell, Phyto, Revlon, Seche Vite, Serums, Shampoo, Skincare, SPF, Styling Products, Top Coats on December 17, 2011
This post has been a long time coming, as I’ve got quite a few empties to show you that have been piling up over the past weeks. I kept putting it off as I had a handful of makeup items that were nearing completion and I wanted them to be included. Even still, I have about three more that are thisclose to being finished, but I couldn’t wait any longer. This is gonna be a doozy, so let’s get right to it. Note: In an effort to keep my inherent wordiness down, I won’t be giving my usual lengthy descriptions of each – otherwise you’ll be here till Christmas :P But, if you do want further details on any product mentioned, don’t hesitate to ask!
First up, we have the hair products. From left to right: Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm, Phyto Phytolactum+ Intelligent Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Relaxing Balm (sample), Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist (sample), and Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother (sample).
Joico Moisture Recovery: I bought this at Chatters for something like $17CAD. It has good reviews on MUA and I wanted something to hydrate my parched hair. I don’t heat style for the most part, or do any coloring or other treatments to my hair, so it’s pretty healthy but bone-dry. I don’t like Joico much but this worked fairly well – though I wouldn’t repurchase.
Phyto Phytolactum+ Intelligent Shampoo: I picked this up from Sephora last March (see how often I shampoo?) and had high hopes it would sooth my dry scalp and not strip my hair. Mistakenly I thought this wouldn’t contain sulfates (it does) – though it was pretty gentle nonetheless. But it did nothing for my dry scalp, so I wouldn’t repurchase.
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm: I was in a buying mood when I picked up this travel size sample at Chatters – I don’t know why I get these ‘smoothing’ products because it’s really meant for people who blow out their hair, which isn’t me. I know you’d like that smoothing might be helpful to tame my curly hair, but I really find it doesn’t do much of anything. This product smelled lovely but that made me nervous (due to my eczema) so I was glad when it was finished.
Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil: I had just read a couple good reviews on this and then they offer this as a 100-point perk at Sephora so I got it to try out. Again, pointless product for my hair type. Also contained fragrance so I was happy to finish it and be done with it. Can’t comment on it’s effectiveness, unfortunately!
Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep: ANOTHER smoother. I know. Anyway, this actually ended up being quite a gem – if I used this after I applied my usual styling creme, it really kept my hair soft and frizz-free. I’m not a huge fan of the herbal Aveda scent, but it’s also not a deterrent either. I probably wouldn’t buy the full size though; I find Aveda products so expensive!Next – Hand and body creams. Left to right: Aveeno Eczema Care Cream, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (frag. free), Eucerin Aquaphor. I’ve discussed all these in length here and here respectively. I’m using a different body lotion right now and I can’t wait till it’s done, it doesn’t measure up to Aveeno’s cream at all. Sometimes you should just stick with what works. I have a new tube of the Norwegian Formula at work – I really like this a lot – but I don’t think I’ll buy the Aquaphor again, it was a bit too thick and contained …. so I’d just rather not.Facial products. Left to right: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus (sample), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF15, Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild (sample).
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus: I extolled the virtues of this product here, and I still stand by my view – it was a great serum that make my skin feel uber soft and look radiant. However, now I’m onto Ole’s Truth Serum (though it’s almost finished, waaaah!) and I think I’d opt for that over this just because 1) I LOVE the scent of the Truth Serum, 2) Ole’s is slightly cheaper (by about $3CAD), and 3) I think Ole’s serum is more targeted for my age, whereas I was really using Clinique’s serum prematurely. I still think it’s great though!
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle: I’ve used this a few times in the past, and while I really like it – it leaves the skin really smooth – I think my sensitized skin can’t handle the retinol any more, which is pretty bad considering this is a very low dosage. But, for some one with hardier skin who’s looking for a great, cost-effective (it’s around $24CAD) moisturizer with SPF and anti-aging benefits, I highly recommend this.
Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild: I got this in a GWP or something I’m sure, and hung on to it because it’s great for travel. But then I realized I had all these samples and they were starting to annoy me so I began the ‘war on samples’ to mega-reduce my stash. This isn’t really the best formula for my skin, as I’m more oily, but it does the trick for an AM wash, especially in the cooler months. It contains emollients so that it doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry, so that’s a nice perk.
Now, get excited…here comes the makeup portion!!!!Mascaras etc. Top to bottom: Benefit They’re Real!, Clinique High Impact, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill, Diorshow Maximizer Base (sample), and Clinique Bottom Lash.
Benefit They’re Real!: See my initial review here. I really enjoyed this mascara and may even repurchase in the future. It was easy to use and gave me nice looking lashes. ‘Nuff said.
Clinique High Impact: Still one of my favorite mascaras – lots of volume and some length, and makes my lashes stand out. Also very easy to use. I wouldn’t recommend to those who want a really natural look however, as I’ve heard complaints of it getting clumpy (though personally I’ve never experienced this). And the $18CAD price point is much more reasonable than any other department store brand!
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill: I have been waiting to re-review this, as I have some sad news – this is the root cause of all my eye sensitivities and irritation! I’m makes me slightly disappointed (since it was great….but tres expensive, hence why I’m only slightly disappointed), but mostly really pissed off, because my eyes have been a trial ever since I used this. I blamed it on the cat (as I’m allergic), and while I am still very careful of Vegas (the cat – yeah baby!), this mascara is the real reason my eyes aren’t like they used to be. I had stopped using it in August because I fell in love with Benefit’s They’re Real, and my eyes improved – then I realized that it was going to dry up and be wasted, so I started using it again, only to find my eyes get totally itchy and messed up! I stopped using it immediately, and while my eyes aren’t as bad, they still get irritated pretty easily ever since. SO not cool. I couldn’t find the ingredients online anywhere so I don’t know the offending irritant, unfortunately. In any case, all I’m saying is that I recommend trying this out somehow first before fully committing!!
Diorshow Maximizer Base: I got this via a coupon code at Sephora.com. Meh. It made my mascara harder to apply and I didn’t see any maximizing whatsoever. I wouldn’t waste the $$.
Clinique Bottom Lash: Awesome. Seemed like the most gimmicky thing in the world, but ended up being really great. For $12CAD, you get this mascara with a mini brush that makes it ridiculously easy to apply mascara to your bottom lashes. It only removes with warm water, so you can cry your heart out with it on (or swim, or sweat) and it won’t budge. It lasted for AGES too (I know you’re not supposed to use mascara for longer than 3-4 months, but this seemed like an exception :P).Lips and cheeks! Left to right: Clinique Superbalm in Currant, Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer (sample), Cover Girl Wetslicks in Guava Splash, Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy.
Clinique Superbalm in Currant: I love these balms! They’re a bit thick and very glossy, and wear pretty well while keeping my lips mega-hydrated. I’ve had this for like, 4 years now so while I’m a little sad to see it go (the shade is neutral and goes with everything!), I’m mostly glad it’s finally done! Having anything for more than like, two years just seems like too much to me!
Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer: I read once that Denise Richards liked this lip gloss in this shade…she commented that it ‘looks good on everyone.’ While that may be true, I didn’t particularly like this shade for some reason. I used to love Juicy Tubes but thankfully grew out of that stage – it seems like one of those things to buy when you’re just getting into high end makeup so I guess the memory of being a newbie turns me off a bit lol. Nonetheless, these are nice glosses that wear well, but for me their time has come and gone. And this one in particular has had it’s time – I’m sure I’ve had this for well over 7 years! Yikes!
Cover Girl Wetslicks in Guava Splash: I bought this after seeing a makeup shot in Allure in which they suggested this gloss to re-create the look. It was pretty close, so good call by them – but I really didn’t like the formula of this at all. It was soo thin and slippery, I had to reapply it constantly! Blah. I’ve only had this gloss a year so the fact that it’s already gone is a testament to how quickly it wears off. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy: I got this as a gift from Clinique a couple years ago, and wasn’t enamoured with it as it seemed too light for my skin. However, I reintroduced it in my rotation this Fall and realized I was missing out! It gave me cheeks the best natural flush ever. I am partial to cream formulas because I like the way they leave the skin glowing, and this one was nice because it wasn’t greasy at all. It had OK wear time – nothing terrible but not spectacular either – so I wouldn’t repurchase, but I sure did enjoy it while it lasted. It went with every makeup look I’d try – can’t beat that!Unfinished but still must go. Clockwise from left: Revlon Streetwear Double-Ended Liner (discontinued), Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner in Blackened Sapphire, Lancome Color Focus Eye Shadow Quad (sample), Rimmel Metallic Eye Gloss in Equinox (discontinued).
Revlon Streewear Double-Ended Liner: I brought this product up in my eyeliner post, and committed to tossing it, so here goes! I’ve definitely had this for over 10 years, I don’t know what I was waiting for!
Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner: Also discussed this in the eyeliner post. My mother has this too, and when she wears it (usually on her bottom lash line), it looks awesome – but since I’m too ~fragile~ to wear liners on my bottom lashes now, I just don’t get a good effect from this liner. On my top lashes its just kinda blah. So, time to go!
Lancome Color Focus Eyeshadow Quad: The shades are Daylight (the pale cream), Contrast (deep purple), Blink (khaki shimmer), and Peep (pale pink). I’ve also had this for way longer than I want to admit, and I never use it, so it’s really gotta go. I’m not really a fan of sample eyeshadow palettes anyway, they annoy me – when I get them from Clinique I always give them away. I want the real thing, darn it!
Rimmel Metallic Eye Gloss: Do you remember when eye gloss was a ‘big thing’ back in the day – around 8-10 years ago? Yeah, this was bought then. Oops! I couldn’t get it to work without creasing like crazy so I may have only tried it a handful of times. Fun idea, but just not easy to translate into real life. Toss!Honorable Mention. Seche Vite’s Dry Fast Top Coat. This bottle isn’t finished, though you can’t really tell from the photo. There’s about 40% left, but you KNOW how goopy and impossible it gets around that time!!! I kept it in my drawer, hoping for a miracle, but it’s time has come. Begone, you most-awesome-of-top-coats-until-that-time-when-you-become-absolutely-NOT-awesome-and-in-fact-a-total-nightmare top coat!!
PHEW!!!!! OMG I’m so sorry to submit all of you to that uber-lengthy post, but it had to be done. 25 items (though 8 were samples, to clarify)! Are you proud of me or what?! I have been chomping at the bit to get this out so you can all revel in my awesome downsizing abilities. What’s that you say? I have in fact replaced many of these products with new ones?! Oh, well, forget that part then, will you? The whole purpose to reduce is to buy more, is it not?? No? Huh. Well, I will keep trying, in any case. Looking at this post alleviates some of my guilt at least. ‘Till next time!!